Tanzania’s attorney-general has cautioned the media to be impartial in their reporting on the ongoing debate about the planned countrywide demonstrations by the main opposition party Chadema.
“I can’t speak on behalf of the police but from what I know the police force has said they won’t allow demonstrations or any other public meetings until such time that the security situation improves. They are the custodians of keeping law and order, and their decisions are based mainly on intelligence gathered. I am pretty sure that the ban won’t go on forever,” Mr George Masaju said during a Press briefing on Monday.
The Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo has however said it would defy the ban.
The AG reiterated that the media had a crucial role to play in educating the public on the need to preserve and maintain peace, failure to which “the repercussions would affect even those that may not necessarily take part in the planned demonstrations.”
“It is imperative upon you journalists to understand and learn the different legislation pertaining to demonstrations including the Political Parties Act,” he said.
Chadema plans to carry countrywide demonstrations from September and accuse the Magufuli administration of dictatorship.
Religious leaders have been trying to pacify in the anticipated confrontation but, neither side has shown any sign of relenting.